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Homeownership for the single girl Y

ou’ve worked your butt off for years and saved your pennies. Or perhaps, less heroically, you’ve gathered one too many little black dresses to fit into your one

bedroom apartment. Either way, you are finally ready to soar out of the nest. And here it comes…the real estate dilemma.

So many young people (and all too often, young women) are terrified of this concept. It’s a huge decision and certainly a lot of work, but it’s definitely not something you should be running and hiding from. Why? Because it has the potential to be one of the highest earning investments you will make at this (or any) stage of your life. If you are on the fence (no pun in- tended) or have made the decision to take the home ownership leap for the first time, here are a few things to remember. Consider them lessons learned from someone who has been there, done that, and gained a few insights along the way… Te single girl's guide to first-time homeownership

• Do research before you start to look Get

yourself familiar with the market. Look up houses in the area, what features they have and what they’ve been sell- ing for. As with any aspect of life, the more knowledge you gain on your own, the more credibility you will have in the process. Sometimes as a young single woman, taking on these tasks can seem more daunting than they actually are. Perhaps

What kind of creator are you?


ou’re a creative professional, skilled in the art of problem solving. Someone has a business or brand challenge and engages your team to help solve it. After developing the brief, you probably start by hold-

ing a brainstorm, gathering together various members of the team: planners, designers and anyone else who might provide good perspective. You all jump in a room and start throwing ideas out. Sometimes these meetings are success- ful; sometimes they aren’t. One thing is consistent though – depending on the mix

of people in the room, your results will vary. Significantly. I was looking into the way

people solve problems and was thinking about how we assemble a varied group of unique people in a room because we want unique perspectives. But we conduct our brainstorms in such a way that only the loud and on- the-spot thinkers end up bring- ing ideas forward. Essentially we lose out on ideas from those who think differently. By identifying, up front, what

Think Shift Alex Varricchio

type of creators are on your team, you can be more effective at generating ideas in a way that actually works. Let’s assemble group-think brainstorms with people suited

to on-the-spot ideas and front of the room leadership, let’s conduct individual-think sessions for those who think best when on their own, and let’s ensure we have people who will champion the process to carry us through to completion. How do we do this? Well, that’s where these Creator

Profiles come in. Tese four categories can help you understand how you

(or your team members) solve problems, which parts of the problem-solving process best fit your personality, and how to self-identify and know when you should jump into a challenge and when you might want to back out. To understand where you best fit, take a look at the

profiles and read the statements in each. If you strongly agree with one, that’s probably your primary profile. If you see yourself in a couple, you might have a primary and secondary profile.

Te Motivator To solve a problem, you look to the people around you.

You define the problem and can inspire people to take ac- tion. Whenever you face a challenge or problem, people rally around you and offer to help out. You’re often the flag bearer to the problem we are trying to solve. How to identify: You feel like you bring more value to the

room through your passion and not necessarily specific ideas. You take people through a problem-solving journey,

painting a picture of what the challenge is, where we’ve come from and the grand potential of where we might be able to end up. When to step forward: You’re needed throughout. Te

start and finish are the most important parts for you to be involved. When to step back: You may not need to be involved in all

of ideation. Keep the team going, but recognize you won’t need to be present for all problem-solving discussions.

Creative types page 9 January 2016 Smart Biz 7 Sexual Harassment (Your Boss) Ad - Full colour

Your boss is being inappropriate

to your coworker. You can see if she’s ok, or tell HR. But if you don’t help her, you’re helping him.

we are scared that people won’t pay us the same respect as they would a couple, or a male who knows the “ins and outs” of something traditionally deemed to be male-oriented. Truth be told, anyone who hasn’t done it before starts at square one when it comes to home ownership. You don’t need to become a pro, but you should know enough to show how serious you are as a buyer - and to show that you demand to be held in the same regard as the next potential client. • Ask away. Don’t let anyone intimidate you or

The Corporate Climb

Laura Wittig

make you feel like you can’t ask any questions. When are you spending this amount of money, there truly are no dumb questions. Tink of it this way: Would you expect anyone walking in off the street to know little details and industry- specific rules about your job? Absolutely not. Your real estate agent, if you are using one, is there as a resource for you - and getting paid (well) do to so! If you have found an agent who seems annoyed or makes you feel uncomfort- able when you ask about details - regardless of how small they are - find a new one. By the end of the process, your agent may just be on speed

dial next to your BFF. You better like him or her. If you think of a question after a viewing, jot it down. Make

a list. Don’t brush off anything you are even slightly curious about. If you are like the average first-time home buyer, you are spending a significant amount of your life savings on this purchase. You owe it to yourself to be as informed as you possibly can be.

• Use people you trust. Tere is no way to get around

it - buying real estate is expensive, stressful and time- consuming. Tere may be days when you feel as though you are in over your head…particularly after signing that initial mortgage document indicating that you owe the bank how much!??! (Tat alone may require some deep yoga breath- ing.) But if you have done your research, you are actually a few steps ahead of most people who just dove right in. Te best thing that you can do is tap into your network of

individuals you trust. If you don’t have an agent/ banker/ broker/real estate lawyer, ask for referrals or advice from people who have your best interests at heart and who have done this before. Developing trusting relationships with these professionals will come in handy again in the future, as well as now when you are able to give another friend advice as she ventures down the same overwhelming yet exciting path.

Take the leap Buying your first house or condo may seem like one of

those things you have on your bucket list but aren’t yet ready for, or don’t want to do alone. Although you have to wait until it is right for you, there will be certain advantages to purchasing earlier rather than later, and buying on your own if you can afford it. If you’ve saved up, done your research, asked as many

questions as your little heart desires, and asked for refer- rals from your trusted network, it really is just a few steps before you are standing on your very own doorstep waiting to unlock the next (totally liberating) adventure: homeown- ership for the single girl.


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